Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes 1

Love, betrayal and murder in a small town…Twelve years after her mother’s murder, Shannon Bradford fears she may have helped convict an innocent man. Even worse, her prominent family may have had something to do with it. Desperate for answers, she seeks help from the one person least likely to give it. Her best friend and childhood crush, Trace Dawson.

The man she sent to prison.

Serving hard time for murder has left Trace angry and bitter. As far as he’s concerned, digging into the past won’t replace the years he’s lost or erase the hell he’s lived. Now that he’s free, Shannon Bradford tops his list of bad memories.

But he never counted on falling in love.

WITHIN TEMPTATION is a contemporary/romantic suspense/mystery hybrid. Set in a sleepy little town during the dead of winter, this award-winning romance novel is a tale of one woman’s quest for truth and a man’s struggle to forgive.

Holy Captivating Thriller, Batman!!!  This book was intense!  Murder, suspense, romance…it’s the full package.
Trace Dawson has just been released after 12 years on prison for murder.  Just hours after his release he runs into Shannon Bradford, the daughter of the woman he was convicted of killing and a childhood friend.  They have known each other since Shannon was 6 and Trace was 10.  Their history is long and ultimately, painful.  But, as pain as it is, Shannon wants Trace to help her fill in the gaps of her memory surrounding the day her mother was killed.  Will he be able to get past his bitterness and take this opportunity to clear his name for a murder he insists he didn’t commit?
Well, I am fan.
That’s all I can say.  I jumped into this book cold turkey and could not put it down.  The plot development and the writing were just spot-on.  As you delve deeper into the story not only does the sexual attraction between Trace and Shannon pull you in, but also the mystery surrounding this small town.  Told from alternating POV, it really gives you enough information to keep you on your toes without giving away the entire thing early on.  I honestly was shocked at the end, and I consider myself hard to be shocked!
For a debut novel, I am super impressed.  The characters are well thought out and realistic, as are their interactions with each other.  I will most definitely be interested in reading something else by this author in the future!  4.5 stars!

Wow, this is one of those books that had me waking up in the middle of the night just to read another chapter.  I was so blown away with this one because it not only exceeded my expectations; it took me totally by surprise.
What do you do when you have been locked up for 12 years for a murder you claimed you never committed?  When you are finally released and the first thing you see is the woman who accused you standing in a parking lot about to be hit by a car?  Do you try to save her or do nothing and watch Karma work its magic?  That is what Dawson was faced with during his first few hours of freedom.
Shannon’s mother was brutally killed and when she found her mother’s body she saw Dawson kneeling over the  bloody woman.  She testified that he killed her mother but was her testimony accurate or did she just say what she had been told to say?  Dawson’s life and his family were destroyed by what happen.  His mother killed herself, his father then took his life, his brother went insane and now Dawson is being targeted by the small town because no one wants Butcher Boy in their community.
Both struggle with the olive branch that is offered between them.  Once it is offered the other seems to break the branch and refuse forgiveness till one day they both discovered they needed to find the truth.  Shannon is now engaged to the prosecutor who sent Dawson to prison, but does she love him or is she IN love with him?  Her body and feelings sure react to Dawson when he is around, but how can she fall in love with the man who killed her mom?  How does she ignore the history her and Dawson had as kids when his mom worked for her mom in the mansion?
As the two of them go on the journey to discover the truth, there are twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.  I was so engrossed in this story I think I finished it in record time because I needed to know what happen.  I am thrilled to say once the mystery had been resolved; I had not predicted the outcome and was shocked at the ending.
I love this book, I think the author did a wonderful job of painting us a picture all along with these characters and building a story that couldn’t be predicted, nor ignored.  This isn’t a normal romance; it is one of mystery, intrigue and on the edge of your seat tension.  I highly recommend this book to the readers, be prepared for a wild ride with this one.

I just finished Within Temptation and it was a good mysterious read.  Trace and Shannon are four years apart and had known each other when they were younger.  To be honest, Shannon had a crush on Trace, she came from a lot of money and he was the chauffeur to Shannon’s mom Lilith.  Lilith is murdered and Trace is accused of it and is sent to prison for 12 years.  He is now out and is back in his home town because of his parole, Shannon still lives there but what you find out is that it was Shannon’s testimony that had sent him to prison.  Shannon is trying to make sense of her mother’s murder and there are things that just don’t make sense and for her to get a better idea she has to talk to
Trace.  What will she do when Trace refuses to help her?  If he decides to help, will he be able to get over resentment?  You will have to read and see…
This for me was an interesting read.  I haven’t read a mysterious book in a while and I was pleasantly surprised.  I enjoyed Trace and Shannon.  I can understand Trace’s resentment and am glad that he was able to let that go.  That I what I loved most about him.  Man and the treatment that the town put towards him, devastating.  I felt bad for him.  Shannon was a good girl, and she didn’t deserve the treatment she received either.  I just didn’t like her attitude sometimes.  She was worried about what others thought even though to me she never would admit it no matter how many times Trace would ask her.
I liked the characters no matter if they were good or bad.  They were very versatile and had their pivotal moments.
The one thing I disliked was the formatting.  Grant it, it is an advanced readers copy and I totally get editing issues and the like but the formatting kept me away from the story.  At times I wouldn’t tell who was saying what and I had to go back and figure it out.  Did it take away from the story, a little but was still able to enjoy the mysteriousness about it.If you are into mysteries in stories then this one is for you.  It had me from the beginning to the ending. I
enjoyed it.


Tanya Holmes is a former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, a recipient of the Maggie Award, the MICA Award, as well as Overall Winner of the Sandy Haddad Award and a two-time finalist and one-time winner of The Emily (Best of the Best). She’s happily married with children and loves reading, writing and a good cup of coffee—but not necessarily in that order.

One thought on “Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes

  • Mitzi

    I really loved this story as well. I think Tanya has a very bright future in the world of writing. I'm a fan for sure!

Comments are closed.